We’re a few days away from our annual Innovation Conference. It’s the Net Zero Energy Building Conference II, named after our extremely successful 2008 Conference.

We've been fortunate enough to line up a crew of fantastic speakers again this year, starting with Colin Harrison. He is the Director of Corporate strategy for IBM. He will be talking about IBM’s Smarter Cities Initiative, which you can read about here.

We love case studies, and this year we have three excellent ones.

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 Merck Sorono © Ranier Viertlebock

Helmut Jahn, FAIA, will present Merck Serono, a project in Switzerland that succeeds in elevating sustainability design to a level of fine art.

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IDeAS © David Wakely

 Scott Shell, AIA, of EHDD will present the IDeAS office building, one of the few functioning net-zero office buildings in the U.S. today.

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 Ohkta Tower, courtesy RMJM

And, David Altenhofen, AIA, will present RMJM’s Ohkta Tower, in St. Petersburg, Russia. If you aren’t convinced an all-glass tower can be energy efficient in a cold climate, you should see this case study—it's amazing.

Speakers will also be talking about new materials and systems.

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Center for Architecture Science and Ecology

Anna Dyson, Director of the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, and Carl Galioto, FAIA, Senior Principal of HOK will be talking about things like vegetated walls and eco-ceramics that are coming out of the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology. Professor John Hart, of the University of Michigan, a leading scientist doing research in the area of carbon nanotubes will show how these materials could revolutionize structural systems and building skins.

No innovation conference would be complete without the most interesting engineers doing net-zero work, and this year we feature two of them. Peter Rumsey, PE will talk about mechanical systems, He’s worked on some of the most energy efficient buildings on the West Coast, including the IDeAS office building. John Straube, one of North America’s leading façade engineers, will also take the stage. He’s from Canada, by the way, where thermal barriers and insulation really matter.

Finally, Dru Crawley, PhD, who is one of the leaders of the Department of Energy’s net zero energy buildings initiative, will fill us in on the agency's latest initiatives.

 It’s going to be great. So here's the commercial message warning: there are still some seats left. Call Sandy at (800) 371-3238 to register.